gambling gallivant

Follow me while I attempt to fund my world travels with gambling profits!

Melbourne cup tips: Why I’m betting $4,000 across three horses

Lightly raced, lightly weighted wins Melbourne Cups. That was my strategy last year when I nailed Rekindling. If a horse is lightly raced it can escape the eye of the handicappers…

Lightly raced, lightly weighted wins Melbourne Cups. That was my strategy last year when I nailed Rekindling. If a horse is lightly raced it can escape the eye of the handicappers and race hardened horses tend to underperform in the Melbourne Cup. The trainer of Marmelo, Hughie Morrison, said something similar this week: you need a Group 1 horse handicapped to be a Group 3 horse to win. Let’s have a look at main contenders and then I’ll share my Melbourne Cup tips.

The Contenders

Best Solution (57.5 kg)

Positives: Best horse in the race. Won the Caufield Cup. Won last 4 races on the trot, the last three all being Group 1s. Great gate (gate 6).

Negatives: Even though Best Solution won the Caufield Cup, it wasn’t dominant. A lot of people weren’t impressed. Never run over 2400m.

Would I tip it: I wasn’t impressed with the win in Caufield Cup, but I was impressed that he won when nothing really went his way. Can’t remember the last time a horse won the Caufield Cup and its odds drifted for the Melbourne Cup. He doesn’t fit in with my lightly raced lightly weighted agenda, but decent value after the drift. Not sure whether I see him running out the 3200m. If he keeps drifting, could be a good E/W proposition.

Watch Best Solution in the Caufield Cup:

Yucatan IRE (54.5 kg)

Positives: What a run in the Herbert Power! The time would have been phenomenal if he wasn’t eased to the line.

Negatives: Weight penalty following the Hebert Power was fairly significant. Distance Query. Will start in the car park (gate 23).

Would I tip it: No. Not a chance at the price. The Melbourne Cup is far too tough a race to warrant horses being that short, especially a horse that never won a Group 1 or run 3200m. It does fit the lightly raced model (13 starts for a 5-year-old) and even with the weight penalty still looks quite reasonably weighed (54.5kg). I’d back it $7.50+. If you don’t care about the odds and just want to be able to boost you tipped the winner: Yucatan is your horse.

Watch Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes:

Magic Circle (56 kg)

Positives: In fantastic form. Won last two races in style. Can run and win at the distance. Has the reigning Melbourne Cup winning jockey aboard.

Negatives: More weight than I like and the stable has said as much. Hasn’t raced in Australia. Mixed reports regarding its preparation at Werribee. The gate could be better (gate 17).

Would I tip it: Top hope. I like to know a horse can run out the distance. I think people overrate the ‘hasn’t run in Australia’ factor. Hard to imagine it not fighting out the finish.

Watch Magic Circle race away in the Chester Cup:

Muntahaa (55.5 kg)

Positives: Flew home in the Ebor. Looks ok at the weights. Good trainer and jockey. Good gate (gate 13).

Negatives: Aside from Ebor nothing stands out. Temperamental horse.

Would I tip it: Yes! The more I watch the Ebor, the more I like Muntahaa for the Melbourne Cup.

Watch Muntahaa in the Ebor:

Cross Counter (51 kg)

Positives: Very low weight. Has raced in ok form.

Negatives: Hasn’t raced above 2400m. No big race experience. Only OK form. Bad gate (gate 19).

Would I tip it: Is it miss rated? I don’t think so. Closed out most recent race reasonably well, but not outstanding. Too many queries on race experience, distance and just about everything really. All its got is a good weight. Only connections would really know if it has got what it takes.

Watch Cross Counter’s last race in York:

Marmelo (55 kg)

Positives: Year older, same weight as last year. Has some good races under his saddle. Ran well in last year’s Caulfield Cup. Decent form. Can run the distance. Good gate (gate 10).

Negatives: Failed in last years Melbourne Cup.

Would I tip it: There’s a lot to like about Marmelo. Trainers deliberately haven’t raced Marmelo so it would be fresh and wouldn’t get penalised in the weights. Ran as a joint favourite last year for a reason: it’s a good horse. The horse likes to run fresh hence why it’s running The Cup first up. Doesn’t have a recent X-factor run like Muntahaa, Yucatan or Magic Circle but definitely worth a look and a great place chance. Some people will never bet a horse that’s failed in a previous Melbourne Cup, but I see that as a value opportunity.

Watch Marmelo’s closing speed in last year’s Caufield Cup:

The rest of the field

I find it hard to see many other horses getting close. Cliffsofmoher I could make a case for but not terribly excited about it, especially at 56.5kg. Ventura Storm if it ran out of its skin. The likes of Youngstar and Rostropovich haven’t shown enough to make me think they’ll get that close, but I’m a little wary of Rostropovich at the lightweight. A few others just can’t be tipped on current form e.g. Sir Charles Road and Chestnut CoatAvilius is good but not great and the distance is a major query. Sound Check has too much weight for the class of horse but is an outside place chance. Red Cardinal’s best could win it, but hasn’t been racing that well lately (value at $100 and worth a bet in exotics). Who Shot Thebarman is a crowd favourite, but I think 3rd in the 2014 Melbourne Cup is his career highlight. Ace High I give almost a zero chance. Auvary could start with the longest odds of any horse and for good reason. Vengeur Masque has not much to like unless the race is run terribly slowly. A Prince of Arran is a decent horse, but I prefer to avoid horses backing up from Derby Day. The odds seem too short given the barrier. Nakeeta ran well last year, isn’t in great form but might be worth a bet in exotics. Zacada is well below the class required on its best form. Runaway will most likely lead and I can’t see it getting close unless the field lets it go. Odds seem way to short.

My Melbourne Cup Tips

You can only tip on what the horse has shown. I couldn’t find any Group 1 horses rated as Group 3, but I could find three Group 1 horses rated as Group 2 horses. Only the trainers are going to know if some of the low weighted horses are better than their handicap. I foresee Muntahaa chasing down Magic Circle for the win. Magic Circle has slightly better form, but I just love the way Muntahaa won the Ebor. I’m happy to risk Yucatan entirely.

  1. Muntahaa (5)
  2. Magic Circle (3)
  3. Marmelo (9)
  4. Best Solution (1)

What I’m betting:

$2,000 WIN on Muntahaa @ $11 (betting late as the odds may drift a little)

$1,000 WIN on Magic Circle @ $9 (current fixed odds)

$500 E/W Marmelo @ $16.5 (betting late as I suspect odds may start around $19 on Betfair).

$200 Quinella on 1,3,5,9

$300 Trifecta on 1,3,5,6,9,14,16,18, 24 

Slight lean to Muntahaa over Magic Circle, but I envisage them duelling out the finish in a similar way to Heartbreak City and Almandin in 2016. Marmelo is the underrated horse in the 2018 Cup and I’m keen to keep safe. After winning close to $10,000 last month, I’m happy to risk half of that on the Melbourne Cup. I wish that I’d found just one horse I liked but I couldn’t go past the 3Ms (Muntahaa, Magic Circle and Marmelo). Best of luck!

2 Comments on Melbourne cup tips: Why I’m betting $4,000 across three horses

October 2018 Review – $9,961.95 ($42,761.48 turnover)

NBA tips for the win! Another month of solid profit, $9,961.95 from a turnover of $42,761.48. That’s now $37,348.04 profit in the last 4 months. Last year was remarkedly similar; that is,…

NBA tips for the win! Another month of solid profit, $9,961.95 from a turnover of $42,761.48. That’s now $37,348.04 profit in the last 4 months. Last year was remarkedly similar; that is, a slow first 6 months and then flew home with wet sails in the second half of the year. Probet’s great run continues with another month of 30% plus POT.

Totals $42,761.48 $9,961.9523.29%
NBA - Daily Profit $18,340.00
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $14,180.00
Golf - Swingform $3,839.00
Darts - ontheoche $5,859.48
Fun Bets $0 $00%
Promotional Betting $543.00

October gambling profit

Tipster Bets

NBA tips through Daily Profit has mirrored last year’s start. The model seems to run hot at the start of the season but POT wanes as the season progresses. This is the first year that Daily Profit is solely responsible for releasing the NBA tips. The tips are actually provided by Sportpunter, who in previous years released the tips to his subscribers first then 3o minutes later Daily Profit would release the same tips at lower odds.

I shouldn’t really complain when I’m up $6,130.78 from NBA, running at a POT of 33.4%, but… It can be a difficult service to follow. The odds get smashed in seconds. You have to be logged in and waiting for the tips to get reasonable odds. Daily Profit records odds at the time of release, which is completely unrealistic for any subscribers (I hate it when tipsters’ recorded odds are not realistic, it makes their historical results difficult to analyse). I also would imagine Steve (Daily Profit) and Jonno (Sportpunter) use up the first few thousand euros of liquidity on Pinnacle for each tip. The service does perform really well at the start of the season, therefore I am betting full stake if the odds are within 5%. If the available odds are more than 5% less, I’m betting reduced stakes.

My other annoyance has been of my own making. I had hoped that Asianodds through Asianconnect88 was going to a one-stop shop for NBA tips, however, their website is basically unusable. I plan to write a separate review of Asianodds, but I’d suggest people use Sportmarket as an alternative. Time is critical and it’s not fun watching the odds crash before your eyes while Asianodds is timing out constantly. Plus it doesn’t have Matchbook included in its list of bookmakers (Sportmarket does). Individual bookmaker clone sites from Asianconnect88 like Pinnacle and Orbit Exchange work well, it’s just Asianodds that I have a problem with. For the majority of tips, I have been using any corporate site who still takes my bets. Unibet will only accept $260 on a total but often have better lines than other bookies.

Probet continues to dominate with a POT of 31.1% through October. Not surprisingly, his odds can often drop quickly as well, so I reduced my stake size on a number of tips and missed a few altogether. It might seem strange when he’s in red-hot form, but in the long run, I don’t believe it’s profitable taking his tips if the odds are below 15-20%. This isn’t a complaint, just an explanation of why my staking hasn’t risen too much from the previous months. Probet records his odds at what’s available 30 minutes following the release of tips, so no gripes there.

Swingform made a small profit for the month, which was good in the end considering he had a few complete wipeouts. Swingform can be a strange service to follow, recently I found his odds difficult to get but this week I consistently beat his odds. I did the maths on his numbers vs mine, as it’s hard to know what a realistic POT should be, considering I’m not doing his match bets. Even if you can find a site in Australia offering the match bets, they usually include a tie in the market, which the UK sites don’t. I’m consistently taking E/W bets at 5 places with 1/4 odds, whereas he usually takes 6-7 places at 1/5 odds. Checking against his official results, minus match bets, I have a POT of 13.4% and he has 14.8%. I’m not far off the official results. I have also signed up to a reduced commission Betfair clone, Orbit exchange, through Asianconnect88. This will reduce my commission from 5% to 3% and make my golf bets slightly more profitable.

Ontheoche had a below-par month, but I still really like the service he provides. Definitely my second best tipster after Probet. His tips are relaxing to place and the odds are easily attainable. I just wish I could get more money on some of his selections as he doesn’t send out that many tips per month.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NBA Daily Profit $18,340.00
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57 $903.173.4%
Swingform $22,738.56 $3,036.69 13.4%
Ontheoche $23,738.81 $1,888.45
Probet $140,744.04

Promotional Betting

Last month I mentioned, following the Crownbet/Williamhill merger, Beteasy was allowing me to bet their $2 favourites promo. During the month, I realised that they were also giving me bonus back 2nd/3rd racing promotions. A mistake on their behalf which I took advantage of for a few weeks. They have woken up to the glitch now but it was fun while it lasted. Topbetta promo banned me during October and now sends all bets to a trader to manually approve. I was hardly even using them anyway. This means that Topsport is the only site that offers me anything resembling a promotion.

The month ahead

I’m pretty excited about the Melbourne Cup. I’ll post my tips once the final field is announced. The plan is to bet a few thousand dollars if I can find a horse I like. I aim to post a review of Asianodds through Asianconnect88 plus a review of Sportmarket during November. I’m back in Australia now and have some time to look into my own horse racing analysis as well.

One of my readers suggested I look into Tom Waterhouse’s tipping service. Apparently, the service has been doing pretty well. I couldn’t be more dubious about Tom, but I’m sure he does have a lot of dodgy connections beneficial to tipping. I couldn’t sign up whilst overseas as the tips release time didn’t suit. Thanks to Danny for mentioning the NRL tips on Reddit on last month’s comments, I’ll investigate that further before next year’s NRL season.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

I just arrived back in Australia. Europe was getting cold, Scotland was freezing and wet. In October, we finished travelling in Italy, caught the boat to Malta before heading to Scotland and England. Malta was fun and different to what I expected. I thought it would be an extension of Italy, but it was more like Australia than Italy… minus Malta’s historical significance. It was very multi-cultural and English is their official language (which I didn’t know before I arrived). Beers were cheap, but the food was more expensive than Italy. Scotland was fun as well, the scots are hilarious. The pub food was great and the highlands are really pretty. It rained on us almost every day, but I sense that’s the norm. We had a few final days in London, then flew home. Was a great trip but now onto the next stage: touring around Australia. I will be spending the next month buying a car and getting camping supplies in preparation for the trip.

I made slightly more last month gambling than we spent travelling including flights back home. November should be a quiet month, giving me a chance to catch the red line.

Graph of gambling vs travel expenses


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September 2018 Review – $9,215.65 ($21,628 turnover)

A profit of $9,215.65 in September brings my profit for the last 3 months to $27,386.09! Flashpacking through Italy isn’t cheap, so it has come at the right time. Turnover was quite…

A profit of $9,215.65 in September brings my profit for the last 3 months to $27,386.09! Flashpacking through Italy isn’t cheap, so it has come at the right time. Turnover was quite low this month but my Profit on Turnover (POT) was a staggering 42.6%. Turnover was down as there are fewer NRL tips during finals, plus AFL Tipstar decided not to tip the finals. I have no big promotions left to hit which left me with a turnover of only $21,628. I obviously can’t expect to regularly make decent money with such a small monthly turnover, but it should rise next month with the start of NBA and darts hotting up.

Totals $21,628.00 $9,215.6542.60%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $0 $00%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $755.00 -$85.00-11.3%
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $10,845.00 $6,418.52 59.2%
Golf - Swingform $3,651.00 -$152.75-4.2%
Darts - ontheoche $5,671.00 $2,825.5049.8%
Fun Bets $427.00 $238.3855.8%
Promotional Betting $279.00 -$29.00-10.4%

Gambling profit for September 2018

Tipster Bets

Probet continues his run-of-a-lifetime. He’s running at an enormous POT the last few months. I should have made more, but I haven’t been regularly updating my staking. Past years I calculated 1% of my Probet ‘bank’ on a weekly basis. These days I simply bet to profit around $1,000 on every race for simplicity, but it has meant that my staking isn’t rising as fast as it should. Starting from October I’m going to raise my desired win amount $50 for every $1,000 of profit. For Probet members who joined recently, I know it seems like his tips can’t lose at the moment, but don’t go wild with your staking, this run can’t last forever.

Ontheoche had a great month as well. I know I rave about niche markets, but they are great for us punters. Bookmakers have great statistical modelling for large markets like AFL and it means there’s very little margin for profit. A 5% POT for AFL is actually quite good. Ontheoche’s historical POT is over 15%, you don’t need to watch or even like the sport to make money from it. As I mentioned in previous posts, I was increasing my darts and golf staking so that my results are not so Probet centric. I raised my ontheoche points to $500, which has proved a little difficult in some instances. In matches with odds over $2 I often have to spread my bets across two sites. This is the main downside to niche markets, the staking isn’t as scalable.

Swingform had a middling month, hit one winner but got cleaned up by the Ryder Cup. AFL Tipstar decided not to tip the finals and may never be heard from again. I’m not sure if I’ll follow tips on AFL in 2019, I’ll see how I feel early next year. I used to have a great AFL Fantasy tipster called AFLinvestor, but he went silent a few years ago. I’m open to exploring fantasy tournaments but I haven’t found a reliable tipster.

NBA starts in October, I’ll be using Sportpunter tips through Daily Profit. The totals have been quite profitable in the past, especially at the beginning of the season. I plan to stake high for the first month and a half then start reducing my staking. Seems strange, but the model is historically more profitable at the start of the season. You’ll need Asianodds or Sportmarket if you are following the tips. I’m using Asianodds.

I’m always on the lookout for tipsters in markets other than Australian horse racing, darts, golf and NBA. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I share all the tipster I use; sharing your tipsters and ideas with the betting community doesn’t make your tips any less profitable.  

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NRL Sportpunter $26,309.57
Swingform $18,899.56 $2,868.29
Ontheoche $17,879.33 $2,783.28 15.6%
Probet $126,564.04

Personal and Promo Betting

Beteasy since the merger has allowed me to bet on their $2 favourites promotion. I’m still promotion banned so I’m guessing this is an oversight. It’s not much money, but it all adds up. The only other sites that still offer me promotions are Topsports and Topbetta. If you aren’t promotion banned, make sure you match bet promos as fast as you can. There is no point slow playing; they ban winners, doesn’t matter if you’re only a small winner.

Other than a few promo bets, I won a few ‘fun’ bets. My mate sends me some 1st goal scorers / try scorers for the bigger matches. They aren’t +ev longterm but it’s just a bit of fun (and often they hit).

What’s been happening in the world of betting

The greedy powers that be are reconsidering in-play betting. Apparently, it’s causing people to gamble overseas where gamblers aren’t protected like they are in Australia. A load of BS. People with the will and skills to join illegal bookmakers aren’t people that would be considered typical problem gamblers. The government simply wants more money and is worried that bookmakers are losing tax-generating customers. Therefore at the expense of the average losing punter, they are discussing lifting the ban on in-play betting. Personally, I don’t care too much, I just hate the rhetoric.

Anything else?

I’ve been giving some thought to attempting my own market modelling. It’s only in the incubator stage at the moment, but when I get back to Australia I’m going to start investigating horse racing analysis and form. I would ideally like to create a system when I assess Betfair markets at race time and bet/lay when the opportunities present. Tipsters like Probet who bet early have to beat a bookmaker edge of 30-40%. That’s huge. If you’re betting at race time on Betfair you only have to be better than 10% and odds can move around quite a lot on Betfair. I plan to be back in Australia in November (touring around) where I’ll have more downtime to explore this potential.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

I spent September travelling from Piedmont (Northern Italy) to Sicily. Some of my favourite places so far are Alba (Piedmont), everywhere in Umbria, Rome and Polignano a Mare. Italy is great, but I’m starting to crave something other than Italian. In Melbourne, there is an amazing array of cuisine. I’d kill for some Schezwan or Ethiopian. A laska would go down a treat. In Italy, you have Italian food and that’s about it. The occasional Chinese restaurant serving Japanese food is about as multi-cultural as the food gets. It’s starting to get to me a little!

I’m currently in Sicily. I’ve been watching The Godfather movies to get some historical perspective. A few more days then I’m catching the boat to Malta, then flying to Scotland. Italy, as I mentioned, has not been cheap, but my partner and I haven’t necessarily been trying to save too much money. When you make over $27,000 betting in three months, it eases the wallet strings. We spent $13,384 in September, although we have accommodation booked until midway through October included in that cost. However, that is another month where I earned less gambling than I spent travelling. Our spending should start to ease next month and then November will be rather economical as we prepare to tour around Australia camping.

September gambling profits vs travel costs

1 Comment on September 2018 Review – $9,215.65 ($21,628 turnover)

Best VPNs for Australian Gamblers

There are many VPN products on the market, but very few with the features required for Australian gamblers. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to disguise your real…

There are many VPN products on the market, but very few with the features required for Australian gamblers. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a way to disguise your real location. It protects your privacy from the website you are visiting. Online gamblers need VPNs to avoid linked accounts when using shared internet connections and to gamble overseas. It’s no secret that bookmakers record data on their users; if you aren’t aware how they spy on you, you should read this article. Account linking is when a bookmaker records a link between two users based on a common IP address e.g. two housemates using the same wifi. The implications for linked accounts is that bookmakers may restrict your account because the linked user, let’s say your housemate, is a successful gambler. Whilst there are many VPN providers, only two offer a dedicated Australian IP.

Why use a dedicated Australian IP?

A VPN endpoint is, unless specified, a non-fixed shared endpoint. It may disguise your real IP/location, but your VPN IP may have thousands of other people using it. A dedicated IP isn’t shared and doesn’t change. Bookmakers get suspicious when the IP address of your computer is constantly changing. You risk getting flagged by the bookmakers’ fraud prevention teams when using a desktop or laptop with a constantly changing IP address. Additionally, if you are sharing your IP, your account could be linked with any number of other users.

When I began researching VPNs I was surprised to learn that there were only two companies that offered dedicated IPs to Australian customers: Astrill and PureVPN. When most reviewers rate VPNs on the internet, they are concerned primarily with features like data retention, privacy and being anonymous. As gamblers, we are only concerned with privacy and ease of use. I’m not interested in signing up via bitcoin or whether the VPN provider will provide the US government with my user logs if requested. I just want to gamble as if I was in Australia and not worry who else is sharing my internet connection.

The below links are affiliate links. If you found the post useful and sign up through the links, I will make a few dollars.

Astrill VPN

Astrill VPN interfaceLink: Astrill

Cost: $99.90 USD per year.

Cost of a Dedicated IP: $5 USD per month ($60 USD for the year).

Rating: 4/5

My personal experience: Astrill costs more than other VPNs on the market, but it doesn’t leak your location and it’s easy to use. For the most part, Astrill has worked like a charm and justifies the additional expense. The main annoyances I have had:

  • Some issues with flash sites (e.g. Bet365) and media players (e.g. tab racing media player) when countries have firewalls blocking gambling sites e.g. China and Indonesia. I’m not sure why flash has an issue but it does.
  • The sign-up process is fairly annoying (SMS authentication required).
  • It’s more costly than most VPN providers.
  • Not being able to use it in certain countries (listed under Important fine print), but most people are unlikely to travel to many of the countries listed. Previously, Indonesia was also on the restricted list, which is more likely for Australian travellers.
  • In stealth mode, it doesn’t automatically log on when resuming from suspend mode.
  • It blocks access to some VPN tools which rate and sell other VPN products.

What’s my location when using the VPN: Sydney.

Privacy: Good enough to fool Australian bookmakers. Websites, if they are clever, can still tell that you are using a VPN but won’t be able to tell your location. Tabtouch (surprisingly, because they seem like one of the most defunct sites) does register that you are using a VPN and will send you a letter after 1 month requesting you call them to verify you are in Australia.

Steps to setup:

  1. Subscribe and ensure that you purchase the dedicated IP.
  2. Authenticate via SMS. If you signing up outside of the country you reside, see the section on other useful information.
  3. Download and install the Astrill software package from your members’ page.
  4. Select Australia (Private) as the server you wish to use.
  5. Change the mode to StealthVPN. This is important as the other modes leak your real location and IP address. 
  6. Go to Settings, click on Privacy and ensure the following is ticked as you see in the screenshot below.
Settings for Astrill VPN

Privacy Settings

Features: Astrill has a number of good features

  • Internet Killswitch: If you drop connection through the VPN, you will not revert to your real IP address. The killswitch will drop all your internet access until you manually intervene.
  • Mobile application available for Android and Apple users.

Important fine print: Astrill Services may not be used in the following countries: Belarus, Burma, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Senegal, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo and Zimbabwe. If you have signed up from within these countries by cheating our signup procedure (for example using proxies to hide your real location), your account will be terminated and money NOT refunded.

Other useful information: If you sign up from abroad be aware that you need an authentication code sent via SMS. The registration process checks your location and will only allow you to enter a phone number from the country you are currently located. This is very frustrating if you are travelling and don’t have a local SIM card. You can bypass this however with the following hack:

  1. Using Chome, download the Hola extension. Hola is a useful geo-unblocker, but as a security conscious person, I disable the extension in Chrome when I’m not using it. I recommend you do the same.
  2. Set your location on Hola to the USA.
  3. Using an SMS service e.g. like this one, pick a temporary number and you’ll get your verification code.


Link: PureVPN

Cost: $84.95 USD for 2 years. Note: Prices change all the time and usually they have pop-up specials for better deals.

Cost of a Dedicated IP: $1.99 USD per month ($23.88 USD for the year).

Rating: 1/5 (before September 2018 upgrade). 4/5 (after upgrade).

My personal experience: I have been using PureVPN for 6 months and was writing a fairly scathing review as it failed its primary job and leaked your real IP and location; however, whilst in the middle of this post, they have updated their software. Now it works brilliantly and may represent better value than Astrill.  My experience over the last 6 months:

  • My real IP was disclosed via a method called WebRTC. I use the following site to test VPNs:
  • Websites that attempt to detect your location generally uncover your real location through WebRTC tests. This is a major issue! To give you a few examples: WilliamHill detected that I was outside Australia and prevented login. TAB allowed login but prevented betting. Beteasy allowed betting but denied streaming video.
  • Internet killswitch doesn’t always work.

I have retested following the update and Williamhill/Beteasy now allows access. TAB sky racing video works. It appears that my major concerns have all now been resolved.

What’s my location when using the VPN: Sydney.

Privacy: As of October 2018, it provides the same level of privacy as Astrill.

Steps to setup:

PureVPN screenshot

  1. Subscribe.
  2. Download and install the PureVPN software package from your members’ page.
  3. Log in using the details provided.
  4. Select the Dedicated IP Option and enter the Hostname provided by PureVPN and then select connect.


  • Mobile application available for Android and Apple users.

Important fine print: Nothing I’ve come across.

Other useful information: None.

Are there any free options?

The chrome extension Hola will give you privacy for free. Hola works by using other Hola users’ PCs as relay points (including your PC). When connected, it will find Australian users and route your traffic through their internet connection. It also means that other people are using your internet connection to gain access to websites in the country you are in.

Their main advantage is it’s free and it works. The disadvantages are:

  • Your IP will constantly change alerting fraud detection at bookmakers.
  • Hola sells internet exit points to the highest bidder. They have millions of users all around the world allowing them to operate as a huge botnet. This rather dubious practice has come under much criticism.
  • You don’t know who is using your internet or how they are using it.

If you are on a short holiday, Hola is a useful tool. It’s free but doesn’t give you a dedicated IP. This means it’s not a good choice for serious gamblers. Make sure you remember to shut it down if you do use it.

Astrill vs PureVPN

The decision will really come down to cost vs reliability. Astrill has proven itself a more trustworthy company over a longer period. You pay for that though. As I am a reasonably serious gambler, my preference is Astrill as I feel my privacy is safer in their hands, especially with a 100% working killswitch. With the recent update, PureVPN appears the better value proposition. I can’t vouch for the ongoing reliability of PureVPN as they have only just started providing a working service. At less than half the cost, PureVPN may be worth the risk. I’ll leave it in your hands to decide.

  • Cost: Winner= PureVPN.
  • VPN leak test: Winner= Tie. Both pass.
  • Features: Winner= Astrill. More settings and customisable options. Killswitch works.
  • Mobile Apps: Winner= Tie.
  • Setup: Winner= PureVPN.
  • Ease of use: Winner= Astrill.

As previously mentioned, the links are affiliate links. If you found the post useful and sign up through the links, I will make a few dollars. Since researching VPNs initially for my personal use, I have come across an additional VPN provider that claims to provide dedicated Australian IPs with their VPN platform: I have never used the provider so I can’t personally recommend them. 


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August 2018 Review – $5,245.58 ($42,021.96 turnover)

It finally happened! Bet365 has restricted my account and made my maximum bet $5. I actually have no idea why I lasted so long. If you don’t use Bet365, get…

It finally happened! Bet365 has restricted my account and made my maximum bet $5. I actually have no idea why I lasted so long. If you don’t use Bet365, get on them, they are by far the most profitable site in Australia. They don’t advertise their promotions very well, so some of you may not realise how good they are. Their SP Guaranteed promotion is available on every race that has official SP odds. This is great when following Probet as if the horse drifts, you get the starting price rather than the fixed odds. That alone made me an extra few thousand a year.

Due to being banned, plus Probet taking a two week holiday, my turnover was only $42,021.96 in August. I did make a tidy $5,245.58 during the month, mainly from Probet killing it. It felt like a really slow month for gambling as I placed so few bets and watched hardly any games. This will be a fairly short post this month, as I’m in Italy and travelling quite quickly. Too much to eat, drink and do to spend my days blogging.

Totals $42,021.96$5,245.5812.48%
AFL - Tipstar Tips $6,785.00 -$347.00-5.1%
NRL - Sportpunter Tips $2,542.57 -$577.40-22.7%

Horse Racing - Probet Tips $9,335.00 $5,345.15 57.3%
Golf - Swingform $4,279.00 $861.00 20.1%
Darts - ontheoche $3,975.33 -$860.85-21.7%
AFL - non-tip Bets $6,870.45 -$284.70-4.1%
NRL - non-tip Bets $7,584.61 $1,214.38 16.0%
Horse racing - non-tip bets $650.00 -$105.00-16.2%

Gambling Profit for August 2018

Tipster Bets

As discussed, Probet is running hot. Swingform keeps performing well but despite making money, I still don’t know whether golf is going to be part of my long-term betting strategy. It’s making money and I’ve signed up for the year, so there’s no questioning it now. I missed a lot of NRL Sportpunter tips due to the timing of the release. So my results don’t reflect the official results, but I doubt it has been a great year. Ontheoche is slightly down for the year, but I have a high level of confidence in him as a tipster.

AFL Tipstar is questioning the future of the service after this season. I think it’s a shame to throw in the towel after one bad season. I’m on board for next season despite now being in loss territory for the year. Every year can’t be a winner. Although, I might change the way I follow their tips next year if they do continue the service. I find the totals over/under to be much better than their line/H2H predictions. They have an uncanny ability for predicting game day weather far in advance of the odds adjusting. The odds for their line/H2H tips often don’t beat the final odds, which is an indicator that the tips aren’t hugely profitable.

If you’re looking for tipsters to follow, don’t forget I’ve reviewed these tipsters and others.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $34,208.00 -$305.31-0.9%
NRL Sportpunter $25,554.57



Swingform $15,248.56


Ontheoche $12,208.33



Probet $115,719.04


Backpacking the world with gambling profits

In August, my partner and I travelled through Bosnia, Croatia and Italy. Croatia has become a tourist hotspot over the last decade and it tells. All the menus are almost identical along the coast and the cost is the same as being in Italy. Dubrovnik was actually one of the most expensive cities I’ve ever visited. If you want to visit, maybe wait until the Game of Thrones mania has ended (they film much of the series there and I saw probably 100 Game of Thrones tour groups). Whilst there are some nice spots in Croatia, the cost and the crowds just spoiled it for me. I did enjoy the Istrian coast as it was slightly less touristy and the wine was fantastic. Bosnia is still struggling from the war and most of their tourist attractions still surround the war i.e. war museums, bunkers and tunnels. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the war, there’s not much to do and the food is pretty average. It’s an easy detour to reach Bosnia whilst travelling in Croatia and it was cheap so I’d say it was worth a few days.

Italy is easily one of my favourite countries to visit. In August we went through Trieste, Udine, Venice, Verona, Milan and Lake Como. So many Aperol Spritzs on piazzas I’ve lost count. Travelling this fast comes at a cost and we aren’t paying much attention to expense through Italy. We’re going on wine tours and eating in Michelin starred restaurants occasionally. So I don’t expect to be able to cover my current travels fully with gambling for the moment. If you were backpacking (rather than flashpacking) around then that would be a different story. In the next month, we’ll be travelling from Northern Italy down to Sicily.

NBA is starting at the end of this month, however, Sportpunter has stated on his website that NBA tips will only be available through Daily Profit this year. Not sure why. I’m currently getting money onto Asianodds (read my AsianConnect88 review on how to get money on) in preparation for NBA tipping. The totals betting in the past has been extremely profitable.

Graph of gambling winnings vs travel expenses

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Four of the Best Casinos in the World

This post is not about making money, it’s about having fun losing money! I love the odd casino visit: there’s something about the night’s unlimited potential I find really enticing. As…

This post is not about making money, it’s about having fun losing money! I love the odd casino visit: there’s something about the night’s unlimited potential I find really enticing. As good as a casino can be, the worst casinos are really depressing. I’ve been to 40 countries and wanted to share some of my favourite casinos around the world.

My criteria for a good casino is simply a wide selection of table games at reasonable odds where people are enjoying themselves. The last thing I want is a smokey room filled with superstitious baccarat players drinking tea and keeping to themselves. Anyone who thinks a trip to the casino is a money-making venture is simply a loser! Literally and figuratively.

These are my personal opinions, unlike the majority of casinos posts on the web, which I’m fairly confident the writer has never stepped foot in the casinos. I still have a few gambling meccas to go, namely Atlantic City and Macau, so maybe there’ll be a part 2 someday.

Bally’s – Colombo, Sri Lanka.

☑ Free drinks.
☑ Free food.
☑ Low table minimums. $1 roulette.
☑ Free chauffeur back to your hotel.
☒ The atmosphere could be much better.
☒ Table games limited to blackjack, roulette and baccarat. No craps.
☒ No restaurants, pools etc.

It’s hard to believe, but Sri Lanka has some fun casinos. They make this list because they’re fun with no pretentiousness. They don’t have the glitz of Vegas casinos, but they have something else… unadulterated degen fun. Sri Lanka’s top casinos are MGM Grand, The Bellagio and Bally’s: I’m not kidding. International copyright rules don’t seem to be applicable, as they have no affiliation to their Vegas namesakes.

My personal experience

I was in Colombo in 2013 and was served devilled chicken on the felt while playing $1 dollar roulette. No shit! Free cocktails, beers and a complimentary buffet dinner in their restaurant. One of the biggest surprises came when we were leaving, we were about to catch a rickshaw when the attendant ran up to us and exclaimed: “Sir, did you gambled with us? We’ll chauffeur you home”. I walked out $200 USD up, full of cocktails and food and was driven home.

It’s not going to be the wild times of Vegas, but if you’re in Sri Lanka, definitely have a night in their casinos. The table games have reasonable odds and you’ll end up stuffed with delicious food, plied with alcohol and chauffered home.

Similar Casinos

MGM Grand appears to have closed, but The Bellagio is still open and offers a similar experience from all accounts.

Picture of Downtown, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Downtown

Golden Nugget – Downtown Las Vegas, USA.

☑ Free drinks.
☑ Low table minimums.
☑ Great table odds.
☑ It’s fun! The bikini-clad croupiers cycle between dancing and dealing in the party pit. I would normally put this in the negative list as it sounds like a horrible sleazy experience but in Vegas…
☑ Slide through a shark tank into a pool!
☒ Not a glamorous place, if you didn’t get that idea from the part about bikini croupiers.

Ever wanted to slide down through a shark tank, wade over and have a bet at a swim-up craps table? You can in Downtown Las Vegas. Downtown used to be Vegas before big money came in and built along “The Strip”. The odds are easily the best in town; some of the casinos let you place 5x or 10x behind the win line at craps (which is basically breakeven). Downtown is where you go for value for money entertainment or when you’ve lost any semblance of a classy night out and are ready to take it to the next stage.

My personal experience

I went to the Golden Nugget twice the last time I was in Vegas. Once for a recovery session by the pool, obviously with some swim-up gambling. The other time was after 10 hours of drinking when we wanted to kick on. The strip is very spread out, which can make switching venues a little challenging, but it’s easy to get around Downtown. You can even zip line down the street.

Similar Casinos

There are a lot of Downtown casinos with good doubling rules for blackjack and 5-10x win lines on crap. I can recommend The D as another archetypical Downtown casino.

Slide through the shark tank at The Golden Nugget

Slide through the shark tank at The Golden Nugget

Crown – Melbourne, Australia.

☑ Good atmosphere.
☑ Good restaurants, sports bars and cocktail bars.
☑ Good selection of table games. Craps!
☒ Decreased odds on tables with lower minimum bets e.g. double zero on $5 roulette.
☒ No free drinks.

Crown is a good cross section of Melburnians. People actually go there for a good time, unlike Star City in Sydney which focuses on ‘serious’ gamblers or drunk guys. If you hit there’s a great selection of restaurants to throw some cash around. They generally have fun dealers and a few sassy old craps croupiers. No free drinks which is disappointing, but that’s not their fault as it’s banned by Australian law.

My personal experience

I’ve had a lot of fun at Crown over the years, especially after Crown bought Betezy. It was quite easy to get gold status membership from my regular online betting. Every bet I made on horse racing or sports would get me Crown dollars… and they add up! One of the benefits of being a gold member is free drinks in their gold room. With my Crown dollars, I spent thousands of essentially free dollars on dinners at Heston, Rockpool and Nobu. So maybe I’m a bit biased, but I do honestly believe it’s up there with other great casinos worldwide.

Similar Casinos

I haven’t been to Jupiters on the Gold Coast in over 15 years, but I have fond memories.

Bally’s – Las Vegas, USA.

☑ Free drinks. Quick service.
☑ Low table minimums.
☑ A level of class, but not enough that it affects the drinks service or raises the minimum bet.
☑ Good pool. Good location on the strip.
☒ Actually, I can’t think of anything.

Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults. I’ve been to Vegas twice, the second time with my girlfriend. It was a slightly different experience, but equally awesome. Anything goes in Vegas. You can tell if it’s someone’s first night in Vegas by how dressed up they are. Vegas may look classy from afar, but it’s far from classy. The second night you’ll walk into a ritzy casino in flip-flops (thongs in Australian slang) and a singlet, double fisting $1 street beers and nobody bats an eyelid. Many of the famous glamorous casinos aren’t great casinos in my opinion. Blackjack minimum bets in The Bellagio is often $25 compared to $5 at Bally’s. The drink service at The Bellagio or Cesears is painfully slow. Your money and time are better spent at casinos like Flamingo, The Mirage or Bally’s.

My personal experience

I remember waking up after only a few hours sleep struggling to pull on my jeans: the pockets were full of chips. I remembered winning a few dollars, partying with a bunch of people I randomly met, but I still can’t remember how I won over $1500 USD. This was only the start of a weekend rivalling The Hangover. Beware of staying in Vegas too long though: I felt like my soul had been crushed by a train as I was waiting in the airport to leave.

Similar Casinos

As mentioned, The Mirage and Flamingo are a lot of fun. The drink service in these casinos is also top notch. The Venetian, I’m told is in a similar vein, but I must confess to only walking through and not gambling. I know, I’m also shocked.

Roof of The Venetian

The roof of The Venetian

Tips for getting the most out of your casino trips

  • Don’t go too often. Casinos are fun in small doses, making a habit of losing money will quickly get expensive.
  • Learn how to play craps. Everyone wins when you win, so it makes for a fun communal game.
  • If you’re in Vegas, avoid the ritzy casinos like The Bellagio or Caesars. Drink service is poor and the atmosphere is lame.
  • Tip more on your first drink for better service and more top shelf liquor. I recommend that for the first drink you tip the waitress $3-5, smile, and say “thanks”. You don’t need to be crude and say “come back often”. They know how this works.

Gambling in other countries?

The Good but not great: Chile, Costa Rica and New Zealand.

The Bad: Nepal, South Korea, Panama, anywhere in the Balkans and Greece.

Feel free to list your favourite casinos in the comments section. Hopefully one day soon I’ll get the chance to go there myself.

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July 2018 Review – $12,924.86 ($66,592.36 turnover)

I’m sure many readers think that I’m on a fool’s errand: that’s it’s not possible to make enough money gambling to fund backpacking around the world. Hopefully, this month goes…

I’m sure many readers think that I’m on a fool’s errand: that’s it’s not possible to make enough money gambling to fund backpacking around the world. Hopefully, this month goes some way to convincing people that it is possible to make decent money gambling. I’m not particularly skilled in any way, anyone can do what I’m doing i.e. utilise other people’s talents (tipsters) and bookmakers’ promotions. The majority fail for one of two reasons: they can’t handle losing periods or they can’t limit themselves to bets that are +ev. Don’t be one of those people.

Enough lecturing, I had a good month. I made $12,924.86 from a turnover of $66,592.36. The headline act of the month was Probet, but almost all facets of my gambling in July were profitable. It’s in my top 5 best months; the best was November last year when I nailed Rekindling in the Melbourne Cup and made $8,0000 from that day alone. I’m looking forward to Melbourne Cup this year as I’m planning an even more sizable bet.

Totals $66,592.36$12,924.86
AFL - Tipstar Tips $9,451.00

NRL - Sportpunter Tips $3,505.00 $1,188.60
Horse Racing - Probet Tips $15,140.00
Golf - Swingform $3,293.56

Darts - ontheoche $3,212.00


AFL - non-tip Bets $16,141.80 $546.65

NRL - non-tip Bets $13,995.00 $2,480.60

Horse racing - non-tip bets $850.00 $642.50


Gambling Profit for July 2018

Tipster Bets

It felt like Probet couldn’t miss a tip if he tried in July. Last year he had a slow start to the year and came home strong in the latter half. Unfortunately for anyone who isn’t a member, Probet is now closed to new members. In the past, occasionally his tips would move the market significantly, but more often than not, the odds were attainable within 30 minutes quite easily. This last month, it seems that members are moving the market noticeably. Setting aside long shots, which quickly cause uneven books and big price drops (an uneven book is a situation where bookmakers have too much money on a single horse), more tips than usual are being crunched. I’m not ruling out it being a coincidence, but it appears that Probet may be a victim of his own success. With the wins, existing members are increasing bets, new members are joining, bookmakers are taking notice. If I was in Australia and missed the odds, I’d set an alarm for 5 minutes before the race and place the horse on Betfair if the odds had come back out. Being a responsible tipster, Probet has closed membership, so if you’re interested, I suggest you go on the waiting list ASAP.

Swingform had a solid month as did ontheoche. Both nearly had great months with some big winners just missing. Midway through the month, I decided to increase my ontheoche staking to $450 a point ($350 if taking minimum odds and $550 if I beat his odds). I also added a review of ontheoche during the month. After this week’s results for Swingform, I realised I was missing some weekly tips. I got in touch with Peter who told me to check my web browser. My Chrome Adblock extension was causing me to miss tips, so if you’re following Swingform whitelist the Swingform page. I also did something I thought I would never do… I watched golf (and darts). This has prompted a self-ban on watching anything but AFL. The tips win or lose regardless of whether I’m watching and I want to use my time for more productive pursuits. I now only check results once every morning and update my bet sheet.

AFLTipstar sent a worrying email during the month. They wrote they aren’t getting the results they want, so they’ll deviate from the model where required. I’m fine with losing money following tips, but I want to hear from the tipster reassurances that the model works and it’s just variance. I understand that model need to evolve as the game evolves, but deviating mid-season is highly dubious. There aren’t enough bets to say that we aren’t simply experiencing variance and the model is profitable as its shown in previous years. They have also begun using Betfair odds as the recorded odds for some bets. I alone can use up the market on Betfair as the depth is generally pretty low (and I’m not betting that much). The previous model was using Topsport which was very generous. I’d rather a tipster have historic 2% POT and know that I get a better POT with the minimum being 2%. It’s a better approach than quoting unattainable odds as I don’t know what POT I’ll get in practice. Tipsters can cop a lot of unwarranted flak from members who can’t handle a losing period, but they need to have the mettle to stay the course in hard times.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $27,423.00



NRL Sportpunter $23,012.00
Swingform $10,969.56


Ontheoche $8,233.00

Probet $106,384.04


Personal and Promo Betting

Anyone who still has the “up by 24” (AFL) or “up by 12” (NRL) promos and isn’t making the most of them are crazy. So many hits during July; I only have one side of the promo, I still made over $2,500. If I had more than one site available, I would have made more than double that figure. I also bet out the free bets I mentioned last month from Topbetta’s “No Loss Saturday”. I had to bet the free bets on Australian horse racing and it’s on at the wrong time for me to be bothered laying the bets for a guaranteed profit, so I chucked on a lot of $50 bets and hit enough to make $642.50.

What’s been happening in the world of betting

There were two events of interest in July. Firstly, Crownbet announced that it was merging with Williamhill under the brand Beteasy. If you feel some déjà vu, rightly so, since Crownbet was called Betezy before Crown took a stake. Crown has sold its stake to The Stars Group who also recently acquired Williamhill. I don’t know what the new site will look like, but I’m very curious. Williamhill drops its odds by 15% when I log onto their site. I’m sure they’ve done it to most successful gamblers. I’m promo banned on Crownbet, but not bet limited, so I’m keen to know if the amalgamation will cause me problems.

The other interesting news of the month was that Racing Australia now has the power to seize laptops and mobile devices of anyone working in the racing industry. Racing Australia is peeved that trainers and industry professionals aren’t using their Australian markets for insider betting. It’s not illegal for trainers or people involved with a horse or the industry to place bets (with the exception of jockeys), but Racing Australia wants their cut. If trainers use illegal offshore bookmakers then Racing Australia makes $0. You may have heard of Citibet, word floats around gambling circles in hushed tones. Citibet is a Hong Kong based illegal betting company that works in a similar way to Betfair, except you don’t take odds, you place your bets based on discounts to the Tote. For example, I may offer a 16% discount to the Tote on Rosehill R6 for horse 3. You accept the bet, if horse 3 wins, I’ll pay you the Tote price plus 16% (minus agent fees). The Australian Tote odds reflect the horse’s percentage of bets in the money pool plus a margin of about 20%. If you place a large bet on a horse on the Tote, you drive the odds down and get paid less money. With Citibet, you place bets without inversely affecting the Tote pool, you can also do it anonymously.

The other unique thing about Citibet is that it’s all done on credit. No money is used when betting, you use an agent who is ultimately responsible for your bet. The agent is responsible to Citibet (or their agent). Citibet collects or pays money at the end of every week based on the sum of your bets. If an agent or client doesn’t pay? Well, I don’t really know, all you ever hear when the question is asked is: “everyone pays!”. I’m not a member as I have no use in parimutuel betting (the Totes), but if you do have a profitable system for betting the Totes, then Citibet is something you would want to look into. It’s interesting though that trainers are disguising their bets. Obviously, you could use Citibet to place bets against your own horse as well. Laying your own horse is actually illegal, however, I doubt Racing Australia will find much. The industry will need to be a bit more careful with its shadier dealings though.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

If you want a really cheap holiday, I recommend Albania. The beaches in the south are on par with many Greek beaches. The people are friendly and a pint of beer cost about $1.50 in a bar. Tirana has one of the best ‘museums’ I’ve ever been to – a five-storey bunker which played creepy bunker sounds as you walked through. Albania was paranoid about nuclear or chemical attacks; they had built 168,000 bunkers (one for every 11 people) by the end of communist rule in 1990. Most people when they think of Albania imagine mobsters selling uranium or kidnapping people. I can tell you that Albania is a safe country. It’s poor by European standards which means it’s cheap, but more importantly, it hasn’t been destroyed my over tourism yet. I’d get in before it does.

We spent $4,805 travelling in July. We had a lot of fancy dinners and stayed in nice hotels for what amounted to $77 AUD per person per day. You could easily travel Albania for under $30 a day if you wanted. Gambling profits of $12,924.86 mean I was able to get closer to travel costs. This month, I’m travelling through Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia. Hopefully, I have another good month and catch the red line.

Graph of gambling profits vs travel costs

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June 2018 Review – -$876.23 ($66,823.53 turnover)

What a crazy month! At one stage I thought I would be writing about a 10K losing month. Probet had his worst week in the history of the service which…

What a crazy month! At one stage I thought I would be writing about a 10K losing month. Probet had his worst week in the history of the service which saw me lose close to $9,000; only to recover almost entirely over the next two weeks. A wild ride and my first negative month since beginning the blog. A loss of $876.23 I’ll gladly take considering what it could have been.

Totals $66,823.53
AFL - Tipstar Tips $8,802.00


NRL - Sportpunter Tips $2,620.00



Horse Racing - Probet Tips $25,194.00



Golf - Swingform $3,074.00



Darts - ontheoche $4,303.00



AFL - non-tip Bets $11,812.42


NRL - non-tip Bets $8,847.16


Horse racing - non-tip bets $1,900.01


Other personal and promo bets
Account Adjustments $270.94


Graph of Gambling Loss for June

Tipster Bets

Psychological studies have shown people are affected by a loss much more greatly than a win. Gambling, like the stock market, sees too many amateurs bail following losses when they should have held their nerve. I’m willing to bet a number of Probet’s subscribers bailed after a shocking two weeks and missed the two great weeks that followed. Probet is generally going to dictate whether I have a good month or a poor month due to it being over 50% of my total tipster betting. To offset this a little, I may increase my darts and golf staking. Increasing Swingform stakes won’t be an issue, as I’m betting $35 per point; ontheoche however, I’m betting $300 per point. I can probably bet around $500 a point without too much issue, but the corporates may be reluctant to take anything greater.

Swingform continued his good run. He came close to having a great month, but a few selections fell short on the final day’s play. Ontheoche had a stellar run and is now in profit for the year. AFL Tipstar was doing nicely for the month but lost a number of points on the final weekend. I missed a lot of Sportpunter NRL tips this month as, by the time I had stirred from my drunken sleep, the odds were gone or I had missed the game. I bet almost $40,000 on tips in June, which on average should result in $4,000 per month given a 10% POT; however, all my tipsters are down on their long-term average.

 Turnover 2018 (all time)Profit / Loss 2018 (all time)POT 2018 (all time)
AFL Tipstar $17,972.00
NRL Sportpunter $19,827.00
Swingform $7,676.00
Ontheoche $5,653.00
Probet $91,244.04


Asianconnect88’s Pinnacle is improving my tipping edge, for example:

  • GWS -7.5 @ 1.90, I took GWS -5.5 @ 1.934
  • Under 164.5 @ 1.90, I took Under 165.5 @ 1.909

An extra point on the line or totals is significant. Even the extra .09 (1.909 vs 1.90) will end up netting me an extra unit by the end of the year.

Personal and Promo Betting

I am still betting on one side of NRL “12 points up” and AFL “24 points up” against Betfair. There were two NRL games in the same weekend that I hit which was a nice boost. Have no idea when Bet365 will give me the flick, but I’ll keep making the most of the promotion in the meantime. I use Bet365 for mainly non-promo bets, so hopefully, that delays them restricting me. I would have loved to have promo accounts available for the World Cup. Sportsbet and Ladbrokes’ “lead at halftime and get paid” is a great matched betting opportunity.

I don’t know how many people check Topbetta for promotions. I almost missed it. On the last Saturday in June they ran their “No lose Saturday” promotion, up to $1000 in bonus bets. It’s based on cumulative losses. I made $1000 in bonus bets in the space of 20 minutes. Chucked $500 on two horses and laid the horses on Betfair, both horses lost, getting me $1000 in bonus bets for the loss of $70. They’ve run the promotion a few times, and in the past, I’ve often bet without laying, knowing if I ended up losing I would get 70% of my money back. They have also introduced GOAT margin boost which means you get paid as the winner if you come 2nd within the specified margin. Worth doing if they’ve got fixed odds on a Probet selection.

Backpacking the world with gambling profits

Haven’t had too much gambling time this month. Was quite drunk for a lot of June. With 0.5L of wine at restaurants in Greece and Turkey for under $10 AUD, it’s hard not to get pissed most nights. In June, I went to Crete, Rhodes, Kastellorizo, Kas (Turkey), Istanbul (Turkey), Thessaloniki, Mt Olympus and Corfu. We weren’t particularly budget focused in June and spent $6,634. Considering I made a loss, gambling is definitely not covering travels, but all I need is one good month. Currently writing this post from Himare in Albania. The stupid Schengen visa means we can’t spend too much time in Europe, so we’re hanging in the Balkans for the next two months. There are much worse places to be… good beaches and seafood plus it’s cheap.

I’m still confident the year will kick into gear and I’ll see a decent profit. If Probet finishes the year like last year, then I’ll easily close the gap on travel expenses and some.

Graph showing my goal to cover travelling expenses with gambling

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Why deductions in horse racing are a scam!

Horse racing deductions from corporate bookmakers in Australia is downright thievery. If you take fixed odds, I’m sure you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when the race caller mentions ‘deductions will…

Horse racing deductions from corporate bookmakers in Australia is downright thievery. If you take fixed odds, I’m sure you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when the race caller mentions ‘deductions will apply’. You should hate deductions, they’re unfair, plain and simple; not that they exist, but how the corporate bookmakers implement deductions. It’s a scam and I’ll explain why.

I’ll give you an example of a bet I made last week. I bet on a horse at $2.50 across three sites within a few minutes of each other. The horse won but deductions applied. I reluctantly checked my winnings knowing that this was going to be a frustrating moment.

  • Site 1 paid me at odds of $1.96
  • Site 2 paid me at odds of $1.84
  • Site 3 paid me at odds of $1.76

What the hell? Same horse, same time, same fixed odds; yet there is a 20% difference in my winnings. Surely deductions are calculated according to an industry standard: Nope! Deductions are calculated any way the bookies see fit.

How do bookmakers calculate deductions?

Online bookmakers use a fixed percentage deduction based on the horse’s odds at the time of scratching. The rate is decided on by the bookmaker with the exception of late scratchings. Late scratchings are applied according to Racing Australia rules after on-course bookmakers open the race, which always following the previous race closing. The below table was taken from TAB (see the full table, or other examples: Sportsbet, Bet365)

Deductions table from TAB

It seems simple but it’s not! Here’s why:

The fixed price deductions aren’t based on real odds, but inflated odds

Other horses inflated odds increase the deductions that apply to you. You may have chosen your horse at great odds, but other horses may be well below their odds and this will increase the deductions that apply to you. In addition, the odds include the bookmaker’s margin plus Racing Australia’s fees. When deductions apply, you get hit with margins and fees from your original bet plus from the horse that got scratched. You’re paying the bookies’ margin on a horse you didn’t even bet on! The below tables shows a market of 130% and the corresponding ‘real odds’.

 OddsMarket PercentageReal OddsReal Odds Market Percentage
Total Market130%100%
Horse 12.441.66%3.1331.91%
Horse 22.638.46%3.3929.46%
Horse 33.132.25%4.0424.70%
Horse 45.518.18%7.1813.93%

The bigger the market, the more the bookmaker profits from deductions

Bookmaker markets are never 100%, they are generally 130-140%, sometimes as high as 170% in early country races. When deductions apply, the bookmakers’ margins generally grow. Based on my calculations, the below table shows the impact of a scratching at $2.45 on Sportsbet and Crownbet, whose deductions are 31c and 38c (i.e. 31% and 38%) at different pre-scratching market percentages.

Market before deductions on odds of $2.45Sportsbet's market after deductionsCrownbet's market after deductions

From the table above, the market can actually get better following a scratching on Sportsbet if the market is under 130%. On crownbet, their market improves always on scratching. As early markets are generally above 130%, it’s fair to say that bookies profit from scratchings. See the below real-life example (taken from a thread running on Punters, which makes for interesting reading).

Crownbet before / after deductions / now prices:
3 – $3.4 > $1.054 ($2.25)
4 – $17 > $5.27 ($7)
7 – $7.5 > $2.325 ($4.2)
9 – $26 > $8.06 ($10)
10 – $16 > $4.96 ($6)
11 – $81 > $25.11 ($26)
13 – $13 > $4.03 ($6)
New market percentage is 218.24%.

They deduct from the winnings including the stake (except Bet365)

Deductions can cause the new odds to be less than $1.00. Yes, that’s correct. You can lose money on a winning bet. Let’s assume this terrible market exists:

  1. Winx @ 1.16
  2. Hartnell @ 4.80
  3. Happy Clapper 3 @ 12
  4. Humidor @ 20

You bet on Hartnell @ 4.80. It rains heavily and Winx is scratched. On TAB, that’s an 80c in the dollar deduction. Hartnell wins and TAB pays you $96 for your $100 bet. After deductions, you lose $4 on a winning bet, but they ‘graciously’ call it evens. So you would make $0 on your winning bet. Ridiculous, isn’t it? This affects the punter more when betting on shorter fixed odds, as the stake is a greater part of the winnings.

It gets worse…

The system is open to manipulation. If you compare Sportsbet and Crownbet’s deduction table, you would say that it’s better to take the fixed odds on Sportsbet; however, this will most likely see you out of pocket. Sportsbet is notorious for deduction manipulation. Bookmakers manipulate deductions in the following ways:

  1. Leave horses in the market hours after they have been scratched (Sportsbet… looking at you)
  2. Pricing odds for emergency runners then deducting them when they aren’t included (Ladbrokes)
  3. Applying deductions but not taking into account the odds of the emergencies being added (all of them)
  4. Leaving horses very short when they expect it to be scratched (all of them)
  5. Inflating markets when deductions are expected. Check the rainy day market percentages, they are often raised to 170%. (all of them)
  6. Sportsbet and Ladbrokes deserve a special mention


Sportsbet not only is one of the worst at deduction manipulation, but they also are known to incorrectly calculate deductions. They add the deductions together when multiple horses are scratched. Deductions should be taken incrementally, for example, if you bet on a horse @ $10 odds and deductions of 30c occur on Friday and 20c on Saturday, the deductions should be applied separately. The new odds following deductions should be $5.6 (10*0.7)*0.8= 5.6. However, Sportsbet adds the deductions together so your final odds are $5 10*(1-(0.3+0.2). This defies all logic and is simply a scam.


Who knows what they do. In my experience, they are always the worst results when deductions apply. Their live chat staff aren’t capable of explaining how Ladbrokes arrived at their deduction calculation and their terms and conditions don’t help. I would just avoid them.

How should deductions be applied?

I have two alternatives:

  1. Deductions based on real odds at time scratching. When you apply deductions using real odds, the bookmaker maintains their margin on the market without gaining an advantage. Neither the bookmaker nor the punter should gain an advantage. If deductions were calculated so neither party gained an advantage then the bookmakers wouldn’t be tempted to play games with scratched horses.
  2. Deductions applied at the odds when you placed the bets rather than the odds at scratching. For example, you bet on horse 1 on Friday at 9 pm, horse  2 is scratched on Saturday morning, the deductions would be calculated based on horse 2’s odds at 9 pm Friday. This would prevent odds manipulation at least.

What can you do about it?

Let’s face it, probably nothing. The bookmakers all want this extra bonus from fixed odds betting. The racing industry groups should care about fairness in punting, but they don’t. All they want is increased profits. Everyone, including the punter, is in it for the money, so there’s nobody to turn to. The important thing for the punter is to be aware of it and avoid the worst sites. The more people know about it, the more likely the industry will change.

These are the deductions based on a horse scratched at $2.60

Sportsbet: 30%

Bet365: 31%

Ladbrokes: 31%

Crownbet: 36%

TAB: 36%

Topsport: 36%

Be mindful of deduction manipulation, Sportsbet and Ladbrokes may appear a better bet, but they are the worst sites for deduction manipulation so I personally wouldn’t use them for fixed odd horse racing. Topsport and Crownbet have higher deductions, but work out better from my experience. Bet365 is by far the best site to take fix odds. They don’t deduct from the stake and have a relatively fair deductions table. Unfortunately, they ban winners, so your time on Bet365 will be limited if you are successful. It would be great if an Australian bookmaker stepped up as a legitimate sharp bookmaker and implemented a fair deductions system. I was hoping Topsport could be that company, but it’s not the case at the moment.

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Get Pinnacle Back: A guide to AsianConnect88

Many punters aren’t aware, you can get Pinnacle back through Asianconnect88 despite Pinnacle leaving your country. Losing Pinnacle was a sad day for many punters in Australia, UK*, US and other restricted…

Many punters aren’t aware, you can get Pinnacle back through Asianconnect88 despite Pinnacle leaving your country. Losing Pinnacle was a sad day for many punters in Australia, UK*, US and other restricted countries. I have written the below guide so punters know what to expect when signing up for betting agents like AsianConnect88.

How does AsianConnect88 work?

AsianConnect88 is a bet broker/agent, meaning they place bets on your behalf. They are the customer of Pinnacle, SBOBET, Matchbet NOT you. Many countries, like Australia, prevent punters signing up to overseas sites, but you can sign up through a broker. AsianConnect88 makes money from bookmakers giving them a small percentage of your turnover. It works the same as affiliate links and doesn’t have any effect on you. Once you have signed up and deposited, AsianConnect88 will create an account for you and transfer your money in. It may sound easy, but there are a few significant differences vs signing up with the sites directly.

What’s different?

  • Your account will be in euros.
  • Winning accounts don’t get banned!
  • Banking options require consideration otherwise fees and exchange rates will eat into your profits.
  • Depositing money will take more time. The fastest options are the most expensive. See the depositing money section for more info.
  • In some cases, you will be using different variants of the bookmaker’s site e.g. instead of you’ll use a proxy site like The website address is different but markets and odds are the same.
  • You’ll spend a lot more time live chatting. Want the deposit options – live chat. Want to open a book – live chat.

Asianodds vs Mulitple Sportsbook

When you go to Asianconnect88’s website, the two options you need to understand under “Services” are Asianodds and Multiple Sportsbook.

Multiple Sportsbook

Asianconnect88 will give you an account in any of the following SBOBET, MAXBET, Pinnacle, GA288, Matchbook, BETISN, SingBet. You have to ask Asianconnect88 to open each account individually and deposit money separately into each bookmaker. Asianconnect88 will provide you with the login details for the individual site which you are opening. All markets are available as if you signed up directly with the bookmaker.

Asianconnect88's Pinnacle proxy

Asianconnect88’s Pinnacle proxy


An example bet on Asianodds

An example bet on Asianodds

The Asianodds platform allows you to bet on the best odds, across all supported sites, from the same account. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? The catch is that it only supports football and basketball at this time.

From the screenshot, you can see that if you want to bet the handicap on Costa Rica, you can bet 201 euros @ 2.23. However, if you want to bet 301 euros, the extra 100 euros will be taken on Pinnacle @ 2.17. Therefore with one click, you have made two bets using the same funds. It also shows you the averaged odds, so you can easily add one line to your bet sheet.

I personally believe this is going to be the future of gambling. One money pool which can be used to take the best odds on the market. When the NBA season rolls around, I plan to use Asianodds heavily.

Depositing Money

Don’t deposit money directly into Asianconnect88 from your personal bank account. Not only will you pay exorbitant fees, but there’s a good chance your bank will suspend your account on suspicion of money laundering (I’ve seen it happen). All the cheap (and recommended) options are going to take a week to get money on. You could use your credit card with Neteller/Skrill and deposit within an hour, but it’s going to be expensive.

Payment OptionDeposit Fees by ACDeposit money in Australian dollarsCurrency exchange feeTransfer to AC
SkrillFreeBank Transfer: Free
Mastercard: 2.25%
Visa: 1.90%
3.99% Free
NetellerFreeBank Transfer: Free
Visa/Mastercard: 1.9%
Bank transfer (using TransferWise)199 euros or less: 1%
200 to 1999 euros: 15 euros
Greater than 2000: Free
Free (bank transfer)0.45%Free
Bitcoin (coinjar)FreeFree (bpay)AUD to Bitcoin = 1%Amount lost on conversion will vary.

The best deposit method is… well that depends.

0 – 200 euros: Transferwise

200 – 310 euros: Neteller, Skrill

Over 310 euros: Transferwise

I didn’t get charged for my first deposit. I emailed Asianconnect88 to ask why and they said all first bank deposits are free. Following deposits by bank transfer will incur fees for under 2000 euros. Neteller and Skrill change their fees all the time and also run various promotions, so check their websites. Transferwise is a service I came across recently and it’s a great idea. I won’t go into their service in detail, but they offer a low-cost exchange service with the ability to hold bank accounts in foreign countries. I have a real bank account with them in Europe, meaning I can send and receive euros without exchanging money. I’m not affiliated in any way, just enjoy their work.

Bitcoin is not included in my best deposit methods as the rates are unknown. If you want to use Bitcoin, you can transfer BTC into their wallet. Asianconnect88 will then contact you with the proposed exchange rates for you to confirm. They use multiple undisclosed third party exchanges to sell BTC into euros (I asked them the names of the exchanges but they wouldn’t tell me).

A step-by-step guide to using Asianconnect88

  1. Go to AsianConnect88. (affiliate link: see the disclaimer at the end of this post)
  2. Sign up. They offer a bonus, but the conditions aren’t particularly favourable, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the bonus unless you have a really high turnover. The turnover requirement is 10x. The bonus is 20% of your initial deposit up to 400 euros and will appear once you have bet your deposit amount 10x.
  3. You will be sent an email will an activation link which forces you to change your password. You are then redirected to their support page.
  4. Compare your deposit options. Live chat and request information on your required deposit method.
  5. Deposit.
  6. Asianconnect88 will send you an email once they have received your deposit and request further instructions.
  7. Live chat or email what books you would like opened e.g. Pinnacle, matchbook etc and how you would like the deposit distributed between books. They will only open the books which you are transferring money into.
  8. Asianconnect88 will provide you with the URL, username and one-time password for the bookmaker(s) you requested. The URL provided to me for Pinnacle was

What you need to know

  • Pinnacle’s max bet is lower! The maximum you can bet at odds is a decent amount lower when using AsianConnect88’s Pinnacle proxy than Pinnacle… but you can bet again once the odds readjust. This is same way Pinnacle always worked; it states the amount they will accept at the odds. If you take the full amount, the odds will drop for everyone, but you can bet again at the lower odds. It’s the same with the proxy site except for the amount of money required before the odds readjust is lower. I asked Asianconnect88 about this, they replied it was entirely controlled by Pinnacle. For a single bet, I could get 212 euros on early AFL markets and 424 euros on more established AFL markets.
  • The proxy sites aren’t geoblocked anywhere.
  • The proxy sites have the same markets and odds as the real sites.
  • You can get trial accounts, just ask them. It’s quite difficult to understand how Asianconnect88 works until you use it (although hopefully, this post helps). They set me up with a $0 account of Asianodds for a 2-day trial.
  • You can make live bets through Asianconnect88.
  • When using Asianodds you need to check that bets are properly placed. Singbet, in particular, has a tendency to appear to accept your bet but will actually be “unconfirmed”. Asianconnect88 suggests that you can disable Singbet from your active bookmakers in settings.

Review of AsianConnect88

The good:

  • Get access to restricted sites, including Pinnacle.
  • Winning accounts don’t get banned.
  • Same odds and markets available when opening individual sportsbooks.
  • All support staff were extremely helpful and responsive.
  • Didn’t see any queues for their live chat.
  • Trial accounts are available.
  • Long-running service.

The bad:

  • Have to manage accounts in euros and convert constantly when updating your spreadsheet.
  • Need to plan deposits in advance as the whole process will take you about a week to get money on.
  • Max bet limits at odds prevent me from getting on large stakes at quoted odds.

For medium to big-time punters, it’s definitely worth signing up and getting Pinnacle back. I’ve been using it with AFL Tipstar, who bets earlier than game day, but I’ve been able to beat the Aussie corporates a number of times. The odds and bet limits aren’t as good for early markets compared to gameday, but on gameday, they more often than not have the sharpest lines. It’s another tool in my betting arsenal.

Bet brokers are a way punters can fight back against government’s protectionist policies and avoid corporate bookmakers’ account restrictions. Hopefully, more foreign bookmakers join bet brokers in the coming years so we can have real competition in the market. Even though bet brokers have been around for many years, they aren’t mainstream. Their websites don’t provide the level of information needed to understand their services, so I hope this post helps.

* UK residents are no longer able to sign up to Pinnacle through Asianconnect88.

Disclaimer: AsianConnect88 links are affiliate links. This means I may make a small amount if you sign up through my links. You aren’t disadvantaged in any way. I’d be grateful if you sign up through the links if you found this article helpful. 

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